Planning an event can be a daunting task, but it becomes significantly more difficult when worrying about managing a budget. Event planners need to be mindful of costs at every step of the process, from booking venues and arranging catering to hiring performers and printing invitations.
Fortunately, with an event management company in Thailand, you can save money while still having a memorable event. This article will discuss some tips for managing an event planning budget. We will also provide a guide on how to calculate your event costs and how to cut costs on your next event.
Why Planners Need to Manage Their Budget
It is not uncommon for businesses to outsource event planning to an external party, whether a staff member with experience in the field or an external consultant. However, many businesses combine these roles and appoint a planner within their company structure.
If you are planning your events on top of your day-to-day workload, you might find yourself struggling to keep track of your costs. It is all too easy for expenses to creep up without proper oversight if you are unsure what costs need tracking or how long it takes you to organise different aspects of an event.
That’s why the most effective way to manage your event budget is by taking charge of all stages of the process – from booking venues and arranging catering through hiring performers and printing invitations.
What are the Different Types of Event Budgets?
There are three main types of event budgets: the line-item budget, the percentage budget, and the zero-based budget. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, and it is vital to understand which approach will work best for your event.
Line-item Budget: The line-item budget is a detailed breakdown of all expected costs associated with an event. This type of budget is helpful for planners who want to clearly understand what they are spending on each element of their event.
However, it can be time-consuming to create, and it can be difficult to track changes in cost as the event planning process progresses.
Percentage Budget: The percentage budget is based on estimated overall costs for the event. The planner sets a budget percentage for each area of expenditure, such as catering, venue hire, and entertainment.
This type of budget is easy to create, and it is relatively straightforward to track changes in cost. However, it can be challenging to accurately estimate final costs, particularly for less experienced planners.
Zero-based Budget: The zero-based budget starts from scratch, with every penny accounted for. This type of budget is ideal for first-time planners or those who want to keep their spending as tight as possible. It can be time-consuming to create, and it can be difficult to make last-minute changes without significantly impacting the overall budget.
Event Planning Budget Tips for Event Planners
Now that we have discussed the different types of event budgets let’s look at some tips for managing an event planning budget.
Establish your budget before you begin looking for venues or suppliers: Once you have established the type of event you are organising and estimated the number of guests it will need to cater for, you can use this information to establish your budget. Then narrow down the list of potential venues based on your budgetary constraints.
For example, if one venue is mostly outside, but another has an in-house lighting system with easy access to power outlets, the latter would be more suitable for an evening party at which you plan to hire entertainment.
Research each supplier in-depth: To ensure that you get value for money booking suppliers, do thorough research into each one. Ask for quotes and compare them to ensure that you get the best deal. When comparing quotes, remember to factor in hidden costs, such as delivery charges.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate: Many suppliers are willing to negotiate on price, particularly if you are ordering in bulk or booking them for several events. However, don’t go too low, or you may find that the quality of service suffers.
Keep track of your spending: Use a spreadsheet or a dedicated event planning budget template to keep track of your spending as it accumulates. This will help you stay within your budget and make last-minute adjustments if necessary.
How to Calculate Your Event Costs?
Now that we have looked at some tips for managing an event planning budget let’s calculate your main costs for an event.
Event venue hire: Event venues generally charge per person, so you will need to estimate the number of guests. If you are having a seated dinner and dance, then allow extra space for dancing when estimating the number of guests and deduct their numbers from your total if they do not intend to dance.
Also, keep in mind that some venues may offer better deals on different days or times of the day. Therefore, it is worth checking this with your chosen venue.
Catering: Estimates can be difficult to obtain before booking a date for your party because many caterers also require access to the appropriate equipment such as ovens and chopping boards. As a general rule, allow between $15 and $20 per head for catering, depending on the type of food that you choose.
Drinks: If you are planning to provide drinks for your guests, remember to include both the cost of the drinks and any hire costs for glasses or bottles. Allow around $3-$5 per drink, depending on the type of drink and whether or not you are providing alcohol.
Entertainment: This can be one of the most expensive elements of an event, so it is vital to set a budget and stick to it. When calculating your budget, remember to consider both hiring costs and transport/set up fees.
Decorations: Although often seen as an unnecessary expense, decorations can set the tone for an event. If you are holding your event outside, consider any extra costs you might need to incur, such as hiring windbreaks.
Also, consider whether or not there is access to power outlets and whether your chosen decorations need electricity to be operational.
How to Cut Costs on Your Next Event?
So now we have looked at some tips for managing an event planning budget as well as how to calculate our main costs for an event, let’s look at some top tips for cutting costs on your next event:
Informal: Informal events usually cost less than those with a more formal setting because they lack specific requirements such as seating arrangements and a dance floor. Keep in mind that this will make it more difficult to contain your guests and help you cut costs.
Self-catering: By providing food for your guests, you are cutting out the cost of catering, and therefore this is an excellent way to save money when planning events.
Entertainment: By opting for entertainment that doesn’t require hiring equipment or transporting materials in advance, you will be reducing your expenses considerably in some areas.
However, keep in mind that this may limit your options due to availability, so it might be worth considering several compatible suppliers who could offer the type of entertainment you want.
Do It Yourself Decorations: You can save an absolute fortune on decorations by getting together with family and friends beforehand to get involved with creating some of your decorations. This way you can have exactly what you want, without spending a fortune.
Event planning can be a lot of fun, but it is also important to remember that it can be expensive. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your event goes off without a hitch while keeping your budget firmly in check. Have fun!